The Mesa Mormon Temple will close for two years beginning May 2018 for major renovations.
Arizona’s oldest Mormon temple will close in May 2018 for two years of renovations.
The Mesa temple, near Main Street and Mesa Drive, opened in 1927 and underwent significant renovations in the 1970s.
Officials with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would not provide details about the scope and cost of the upgrades and repairs.
They also declined to say whether the popular Christmas lights display outside the temple will continue during the closure, saying more information would be available as the project draws nearer.
Arizona has 423,056 LDS church members and five temples, with a sixth nearing completion in Tucson, according to the church. Temples are located in Mesa, Gilbert, northwest Phoenix, Snowflake and the Gila Valley.
Temples are different from chapels, where Mormons attend Sunday services and where anyone is welcome to worship. Temples are where marriages and other sacred ordinances are held.
Temples throughout Arizona
The church will hold a public open house following the refurbishments, allowing people outside the faith a rare opportunity to view the inside of the temple. After a rededication ceremony, it will be closed to members only, like all Mormon temples.
The public open house of the Gilbert temple, which opened in 2014, generated 400,000 visitors in about a month.
During the Mesa temple’s first open house, which occurred amid construction in the 1920s, about 200,000 people visited, according to a Mesa history column published in The Arizona Republic in 2014. Mesa’s population at the time was less than 4,000.
The temple was the most expensive building ever constructed in Arizona at the time, with an $800,000 price tag.
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